Saturday, 11 October 2014

On 10:46 by Victoria Stanham in ,    No comments
A blog about how to free your breath. 

Hi! Nice to see you again.

How did last week’s space-creation exercise go? If you have any questions or comments about it, feel free to write them here in the blog, or send me an email.

Let’s start with today’s work by coming back to our centers. Shall we?
Let’s stop with whatever it is we were doing and just breathe, allowing the air to reach our feet and ground us. Let’s now exhale allowing the air to flow up from our feet, through our pelvis, tummy, chest, neck, and out the top of our head.

The subject of today’s blog is how to liberate our breath. I mean to share with you three areas in your body that it’s worthwhile to have free of tension in order to facilitate the intake and outflow of air.

In order to perceive the areas I want to tell you about, it’s a good idea to start by creating a little bit of space in our joints. Therefore, I invite you to yawn and stretch a little, like a cat or a dog after a nap in the sun.

What do we need to know about breathing in order to free it up?

1.  Breathing has an effect and is affected by all your Self (principle of Unity). When your body is free of unnecessary tensions, your breathing generates a wave like motion that can be felt from your head to your feet, and which massages all the inner organs. Breathing is also a superb barometer for your mental and emotional states.

2. Breathing “happens”, it “does itself”. If you don’t interfere with the mechanism by tensing up, it works without effort or strain, and without having to think about it (principle of Design).

3. Even when you do not allow it to work freely, you still breathe no matter what. However, all the added tension affects the efficiency of your breathing (principle of Use).

4. When you realize that your breathing requires movement of your ribs (which means movement in your sides and back, and not only in the front of your chest) and that it generates movement in your belly, you can start to imagine which areas need to be free to be moved by each inhalation and exhalation (principle of
Perception).

5.  Since breathing “does itself”, you do not need to “learn to breathe”. What you need is to learn how to stop interfering with your breathing mechanisms (principle of Means and Ends).

6. And now that you know that breathing happens by itself, next time your asked to “take a deep breath”, you know you need to stop your desire to make a huge muscular effort to suck in a lot of air. Instead, give yourself a few seconds to become aware of the areas that need to be freed up to move freely and thus create more space for more air (principle of Habit).

Ok, enough theory for today. Let’s go to something practical. But first, do a shake out of your body to wake up. Move your neck, shoulders, hips, blink, yawn, wiggle your fingers and toes… or just shake out vigorously like a wet dog.

Where do I need to create space to free up my breathing?

The places that you’ll generally hear when you ask this question are your ribs (back and sides of your body) and your abdomen. And that is correct.
However, I’m going to tell you about 3 other key areas that need to be free to allow the back, ribs and abdomen to truly release their tension.
I suggest you try the following exercise lying down in semi-supine.

1. Your groins.
When you create space in your hip joint for free movement of your leg, you’ll find that the pelvic diaphragm, your lower back (lumbars), the abdominal diaphragm and the lower ribs also release, as the pelvis comes into a better relationship with the leg bone (femur).

2. Your armpits.
When there’s space in your shoulder joint, the neck, upper back and upper ribs on your sides get a chance to release too.

3. Your jaw.
When you stop clenching your back molars and allow a little space between the top and bottom back teeth, some of your face, throat, tongue and upper neck tension are allowed to let go.

Now, create space in your whole torso and neck by drawing imaginary diagonal lines that join opposite armpits and groins, and opposite armpits and ears.

Finally, become aware of the flow of air that goes in and out naturally as your system breathes. When the air comes in, allow your jaw, armpits and groins to let go a little more, feeling how the sides of your body expand.
When the aire comes out, allow your diagonal lines to let go a little more and expand your whole torso and neck, feeling how you thus grow in width and length.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to play around a little with your breathing, you can try making your exhales longer than your inhales, by just thinking a longer release across your diagonals as the air comes out. This is a great exercise to calm down the nervous system, for it slows down your breathing rate without tension.

Always remember that you are not “doing” anything, you’re simply “allowing” breathing to happen more freely by letting go of unnecessary tension and thus creating more inner space.

And since we’re already breathing so freely, why don’t we go ahead and yawn and stretch allowing our bodies to expand and contract freely?

This week, I invite you to experiment and play around with these ideas on breathing, and then tell me if you want what you discovered.
If you have any questions, doubts or comments, please feel free to write it down below or send me and email.

Let us close this meeting by returning to our centres, breathing there, allowing the waters to come to a stand still, and thus preparing ourselves for our next activity.

See you next time.

Victoria.


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